Boeing To Layoff Hundreds Of US-Based Engineers

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Boeing Corporation plans to fire hundreds of U.S.-based engineers in 2017, with the possibility of eliminating even more jobs going forward, Bloomberg reports.

The company announced a major shakeup in December when it said it planned to terminate at least 1,800 employees through a stream of voluntary buyouts in the Washington state area in 2017. The cutbacks were reportedly in response to weakening sales of its jets, among other factors.

Boeing’s total revenue for 2016 fell to 94.57 billion, a 1.6 percent decrease from 2015. The company also slowed its output for two of its signature jetliners.

In total, Boeing laid off nearly 7,400 people in Washington alone and dropped its total headcount by 7.6 percent in 2016.

Company executives warn that further labor roll backs could be in order, depending on how sales rebound and the number of workers who voluntarily leave the firm.

President Donald Trump took aim at Boeing repeatedly on the campaign trail, both for planning to move operations overseas and for planning to cut back on hiring U.S. workers.

Boeing is going to sell 300 jets to China, but as part of the deal, they’re going to set up a massive plant in a big section of China,” Trump said in a 2015 speech in South Carolina. “That will end up taking a tremendous number of jobs away from the United States.”

The president slammed the company again in December for what he described as the “out of control” cost of its signature 747 that serves as Air Force One. Trump tweeted: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”

Facing a difficult marketplace, Boeing is cutting costs on the labor end to trim its overhead. The moves could be working, as shares of Boeing were up nearly 2 percent at market closing Monday afternoon.

All of the proposed cutbacks were part of the plan outlined in its December, 2016, announcement, according to a Boeing statement released Monday.

“In an ongoing effort to increase overall competitiveness and invest in our future, we are reducing costs and matching employment levels to business and market requirements,” the company said in a statement. “Employment reductions, including managers and executives, will come through a combination of attrition, leaving open positions unfilled, a voluntary layoff program and in some cases, involuntary layoffs.”

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